A friend just returned home from the hospital, and as a couple of were due for a visit, I offered to cook at her place. Her kitchen's fairly minimal, so I needed to concoct something super simple. Into my bag went box of penne, some of my frozen basil cubes (in a ziploc, of course!), and some fresh garlic. On the way, we picked up a bunch of asparagus from a street vendor.
Penne with Asparagus and Basil
1 box of penne pasta
1 to 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus, washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 frozen basil cubes (thawed)
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Cook penne in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan or medium-sized pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the asparagus and cook until it's bright green and just done (I like it when it's still a bit crunchy). Add the basil mixture, then toss in the cooked, drained pasta. Add a little extra olive oil and some salt if you need it.
Serve with freshly ground black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.